Microscopium – the microscope

February 26, 2017

Astronomy

microscopeHaving named one southern constellation after a telescope, Lacaille named another after the microscope. The two star groups are beside each other. It seemed only right since each of these inventions expanded our level of consciousness by orders of magnitude, albeit in opposite dimensions of space.

From sub-atomics to the multi-verse, the science of optics has bracketed our physical reality. Fundamentalist religious fanatics would do well to remember that the next time they are whipping themselves for being too proud of being too humble.

mic“Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the grander view?”
~ Victor Hugo.

Well Vic, I would answer “the telescope” but that’s just me. Before you spend your money, ask which of the two is right for you. And while you are waiting for the package to arrive, ask why the geometry of the macrocosm tends to recapitulate the microcosm.

Fittingly, even the brightest stars of Microscopium are still hard to see with just the naked eye. That’s where a good pair of binoculars comes in handy. In astronomy a good pair of binoculars comes in handy a lot. I think there should be a constellation named Binocularium.

mammothThere is one dim star here named “Speedy Mic.” The surface rotates about once per nine hours at the equator, probably a bit slower near the poles. Remember, stars are a dense fluid, they are gooey, so they rotate differentially. Our own sun rotates once every three weeks at the equator but it takes a bit more than a month at the poles. For something as big as a star to spin around in only nine hours seems a bit excessive.

There is a large empty area in this constellation called the Microscopium Void which is a total waste of space.

Carpe Noctem

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